a section of
freeway through downtown Boston, Massachusetts;
officially known as the John F. Fitzgerald
What eventually became the Central Artery
began with a 1909 proposal for building a
continuous rail tunnel linking North Station and
South Station, topped by a 100-foot-wide roadway.
City and state officials were unable to reach a
concensus on whether such a project should be
undertaken, however, and the plan was shelved.
The first plans for an elevated highway
through downtown Boston were developed by the
City of Boston in 1930, but a lack of funding and
two world wars delayed serious consideration of
the project until 1948. Demolition of buildings
along the proposed right of way began in 1950,
and actual construction began in 1953.
The above-ground Artery was built in two
sections. First was the part north of High Street
and Broad Street, to the Tobin Bridge, which
opened to traffic in 1954. Residents already
hated the new highway and the way it towered over
and separated neighborhoods, however, so the
southern end of the Central Artery through the
South Station area was placed undergound. That
section opened to traffic in 1959.
The elevated portion of
the Central Artery as it looked in 1957.
The Roads of Metro Boston http://www.bostonroads.com/roads/central-artery/
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